U of A School of Law Student Selected for Ms. J.D. Leadership Academy Intensive

Tristan Branstetter-Thomas
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Tristan Branstetter-Thomas

Second-year law student Tristan Branstetter-Thomas was selected to participate in the Ms. J.D. Leadership Academy Intensive held March 15-16 at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. The selection process is highly competitive, and only some 30 students from around the country are chosen to participate each year. Participants are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to leadership at their respective law schools.

The Ms. J.D. Leadership Academy Intensive is designed to provide a highly select group of law students with the opportunity to grow their networks and interact with successful attorneys, thought leaders and professional development experts. Students learn new skills through impactful leadership workshops and inspiring panel discussions. Branstetter-Thomas attended eight leadership academy sessions focusing on professional development including authentic leadership, stress management and effective communication. Keynote speakers included Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright, general counsel for the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, and Kori Carew, chief catalyst officer and founder of Bridge 68 LLC.

"My experience at the Ms. J.D. Leadership Academy Intensive was amazing," Branstetter-Thomas said. "Being able to connect and network with women in law across the country was invaluable for my personal and professional growth."

Branstetter-Thomas is active in the Black Law Student Association, currently serving as the 2L representative. She is a member of the Criminal Law Society, serves as the fundraising chair for the Anti-Bias Anti-Racism Task Force and has been a representative on the Honor Council for the last two years. Branstetter-Thomas received her Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and Bachelor of Arts in legal studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) in 2019. As an undergraduate, she served as the treasurer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the community service chair for the UALR Criminal Justice Society.

About the School of Law: The law school offers J.D. as well as an advanced LL.M. program, with classes taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, externships, live client clinics, advocacy and journal experiences, and food and agriculture initiatives. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the first African American students to attend law school in the South without a court order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and faculty who went on to become president of the United States and secretary of state, the law school has a rich history and culture. Follow us at @uarklaw.


Erin Feller, director of development and external relations
School of Law
479-575-3468, feller@uark.edu


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